Luis Santana - Photographer


I started out as a firefighter, then a paramedic. Later on, I moved into freelance photography, taking pictures for local news agencies. That led to a career change after I caught the attention of photo editors at the then-St. Petersburg Times. I joined the staff on June 6, 2006 (and no, I’m not superstitious about all those 6s). I became one of the first journalists in the area to use drones, and now, that work has been celebrated and seen around the world. I specialize in covering breaking news, from the ground and in the air. Protests and parades. Hurricanes and wildfires. Sinkholes and speeding cars. I also live-stream events for a growing digital audience. I’m a husband, a father of three and a dog dad.

  1. Sofia Bardelli, 10, left,  and her sister Fiona Bardelli, 7, right, hang on during a ride on opening day of the Florida State Fair at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa on Feb. 10.
  2. Director of Operations Ben Hayes holds onto one of the last copies from the printing press at the Tampa Bay Times printing plant during its final press run on March 7.
  3. Singer Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones performs onstage during the "No Filter" tour at Raymond James Stadium on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021 in Tampa.
  4. Aerial views of the pyramid-like structure called a ziggurat which sits on the top of the SunTrust Financial Centre on May 11, 2019, in Tampa.

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